Skip to main content

Full text of "Long Lance"

See other formats

ST    FEE    HORN9

One of our favoured contests was 'throwing the
stone', to see who had the best back and arms.
We would take a sizeable stone and grasp It with
both hands., and then bend forward and hurl It
backward between our legs. We would play this
game all afternoon, trying to extend our marks
farther and farther; and the fellow who had the
longest mark won the 'arm-and-back' champion-
ship of the tribal youngsters. But It did not
mean that he was the best athlete; for we had yet
to try out the legs. Strength with the Indian is
measured in arm-and-leg powerŚnot in wind and
endurance; for every Indian is born with that,
naturally. To strike down the enemy with the
lance and the battle-axe, one had to have power-
ful arms; and to run after him and leap upon him,
one had to have legs equally as strong.

Therefore we had many foot-races to decide
who was the fleetest. We youngsters seldom ran
more than two or three miles In our races, but our
elders ran as high as 150 and 200 miles in a single
race. A favourite race of the Northern Black-
feet, on sports days, was from Blackfoot Crossing,
now Glelchen, Alberta, to Medicine Hat and
back. That was a distance of about 240 miles.
They would start one morning and return the
next dayŚnon-stop and on foot.

We always ran our foot-races barefoot, not car-
ing to. wear out our moccasins, and at the same

49                      ╗